What to Do When Your Baby Refuses to Eat

It’s exciting once your baby moves to solid foods after breast milk or formula. What’s not so exciting is when that beautiful bundle refuses to eat. You worry about whether they’re getting enough nutrition as well as how to get them to start eating again. There’s plenty you can do to encourage your little one to eat again, though. Here are four easy things you can try at your baby’s next meal.

Feed baby while the family eats

It may be easier for you if you feed baby before or after everyone else eats. But humans are social creatures and we want to do things together. Your baby may be refusing to eat simply because they want to eat with the rest of you. Try using a high chair that puts baby right at the table with you, rather than a little bit away, and have dinner with baby.

Let baby feed him/herself

As babies start crawling, walking, and eating, they begin to feel a small sense of independence. Your baby may not be eating because they don’t want you to feed them. They want to feed themselves. It’ll be messy and there may be far more food in their hair and on their high chair than in their tummy. But it may be just what’s needed to get baby to eat again. Plus, it frees you up to eat your meal while it’s still hot.

Try baby cereal for extra fiber

A gassy or constipated baby may cry and refuse to eat because of the discomfort. When they’re getting started on solid foods, their digestive system needs to adjust, and that may result in gas or constipation. Try giving your baby some baby cereal to increase their fiber and cut down on gas and constipation. Remember also that some days your baby will eat more, and some days they will eat less. What matters is just that they are eating.

Give baby some of what you eat

While your baby may never had had your food, it makes sense they might reject food that doesn’t have a flavor to match the aromas they smell from our foods. Give them some of the same foods you prepare for the rest of the family. Whether you serve it to baby on their own plate, or feed them from yours, this may be what they really want. Most food can be easily pureed and fed to a baby, but make sure you look up how much of certain foods are safe for babies.

A baby that doesn’t want to eat can be scary, but as long as you check with your doctor, some of these tips will help you if your baby refuses to eat. A few adjustments to how you feed them can be all that’s needed to fix it. The important thing to remember is that your baby will eat when they’re hungry enough. Keep trying and wait it out.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan